Missing the Lame

The other day I had dinner with my friend Polly and her new fiance. They met on Match.com. After he finished entertaining us with a story about his worst online dating experience ever, my friend said, “Imperfect (man, I really need a better pen name) has a lot of great Match.com horror stories.”

The funny thing is, I have never actually been on Match.com. Back when I was dating guys I had met on CollarMe or Fetlife, my vanilla friends would ask where I had met the man of the week. “Oh… on, um… Match.com,” I would reply and then quickly change the subject. This was a sufficient enough answer for most of my friends, but Polly always had a lot of follow up questions about Match, how it worked, and the kind of guys who were on it. So, I would make up a bunch of bullshit. Apparently Polly bought it, hook line and sinker, because one day, after she broken up with her last fiance, she told me that she had joined Match.com, on my recommendation. So in a way, my lies helped her find true love — well, convenient love, at least.

Meeting the finance wouldn’t have been a good opportunity to come clean about my (formerly?) kinky lifestyle so I shared my “Match.com” horror stories. I told them the one about the dude that sent a couple of tightly cropped face pics then turned out to be about 200 lbs. bigger than his profile had stated. He thought that buying me lunch gave him license to try to make out with me… in public… in broad daylight. I had to push him away several times as he lurched at me with a wide gaping maw, looking like he was trying to swallow me whole rather than kiss me. I also told them the story of the tool that made me drive an hour in rush hour traffic (his car was in the shop), acted like he was high on coke, then didn’t even offer to pay for my drinks. At the end of the date, he had the nerve to ask me for a ride back to my part of town, because he was meeting “a friend” there.

At the end of the evening, I found myself thinking, wow, I really miss online dating! Not because of Polly and her fiance’s questionable love connection, but because I miss the shitty dates that would later become entertaining anecdotes. Totally healthy, right? No drama addiction here.

Recent experiences have shown me that I’m not quite ready to start dating again. I might rock at collecting and later relating bad and even traumatic date stories, but I still suck at healthy dating.

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Love

I came home from work yesterday to find a Christmas care package from my Aunt Nadine and Uncle Ned, who live on the other side of the country. It contained homemade banana bread, cookies, a Christmas stocking full of goodies and two wrapped presents. It’s hard to put into words how moved I was by this unexpected package.

Lately, I’ve been lucky enough to keep getting reminders that I am loved. Big things like this care package, but also small things like a neighbor kid drawing a picture for me, or a text from a high school friend telling me that she misses me are enough to move me to tears. Surely, these kinds of non-romatic displays of affection always existed in my life, but I always took them for granted. If it wasn’t Prince Charming with a dozen roses, I barely even noticed. I was too busy lamenting all that I didn’t have — a boyfriend, a husband, a dom — to realize all the blessings that I did have.

Deep down, I didn’t believe I was even lovable. Sure, a guy might stick around for awhile if I was doing everything I could to please him sexually and be a good sub, but if sex was out of the equation that same guy would have zero interest in me. And the other people in my life — family, friends, coworkers, neighbors — they were just there because they got stuck with me, not out of a genuine tenderness for me.

Occasionally I still tend to oh, woe is me thinking (see previous entry, for example), but most of the time I am so appreciative for all that I do have. And I feel so lucky that these special people stuck around and still care about me despite the fact that most of my life I’ve moped around like a surly teenager and haven’t been able to return their affections.

Today, I can say that I am grateful for all the love in my life and I’m grateful that I’m able to accept and give love. Most importantly, I now see that I am a lovable person and I love myself.